Tree-huggers pull out all the stops

Well, I guess it was inevitable.  With a group this determined to stop the Cal High Performance Center and their connections to various other groups, one could just about guarantee that they were going to “find” a new avenue to potentially stop the project.

Yesterday at a press conference at the oak grove, it was announced that the site was a Native American burial site.  From reading the article it is clear that the evidence for this announcement is weak.  Not only are there question marks in the survey they present about whether the site of this supposed burial ground is by the stadium or at another site half way across campus called Faculty Glade, but there is no explicit evidence that the single skeleton found was either part of a burial ground or Native American.  Furthermore, even if their claims prove to be true, there is no reason that this should halt construction, only that the removal of any additional remains be supervised by Native Americans.  In summary, it’s a meaningless revelation to the project.

However, this is classic Californian obstructionist strategy.  I like to call it the “shotgun approach”.  The strategy is simple:  Since no single claim you have is the silver bullet to stop the project, you instead shoot 1000 craptastic shrapnel bits in the air.  The reason this strategy is so popular is because it has a number of different ways it can work.

The first way it can work is that with luck, one of those shrapnel bits can turn out to be more meaningful in California law than anyone, including the obstructionists, thought.  Considering how many poorly thought out laws have been passed in this state in the last 50 years, it’s surprisingly easy ti use this strategy to find a meaningless piece of evidence that ends up being very powerful in court.

The second way it can work is that it wears down the opposition.  Even if none of the individual pieces hit home, the work that the opposition must to do refute every single crappy argument ends up being a burden that only the most determined and well financed opponents can overcome.  Ever wonder why “huge corporate interests” are the biggest enemies of the obstructionists?  It’s because they’re the only groups with pockets deep enough to fight the “shotgun approach”.

The third way it can work is the affect it can have on public opinion.  People don’t like reading about the same news over and over.  It’s the reason that ballot propositions always to worse their second time around than the first.  It’s the reason that the American public is sick of the war in Iraq.  Irrelevant of what the public thinks of the issue, they only want to deal with it for so long.  At some point they get so sick of hearing about it, they just want it to go away.  The only way the obstructionists will grant the public that reprieve is by siding with them and halting the project.

The fourth way it can work is the cumulative affect.  Eventually, even though none of the particulars merits blocking the project, eventually some judge or jury looks at the situation and says “you know, each of these on their own seems meaningless, but together maybe they’ve got a point.”  While that’s ridiculous from a strictly legal perspective (you don’t sentence a man to death for 20,000 shoplifting incidents), it’s only human nature to end up thinking that way.

The fifth way it can work is by winning the “judge lottery”.  We all know there are activist judges out there and if the obstructionists can eventually get the case assigned to one of these judges it’s a huge boost to their side.  How does one make sure they get that activist judge?  By submitting suit after suit after suit.  Sure there are laws and precedence that have the same judge responsible for multiple cases against the same defendant, but there are also laws that require judges to pass the suit onto another judge.  As an example, if judge Miller has any Native American blood in her, she’ll be required to re-assign the case to another judge who doesn’t have a potential conflict of interest.  Think it is a coincidence that this evidence is coming out just a week after judge Miller made the first ruling that sided with the University?  It probably is.  That said, I wouldn’t count out the possibility that the obstructionists are interested in a new judge however.  As a side note, re-assigning of judges also causes delays in the court proceedings so way number five can also enhance way numbers two and three.

You see, it’s a very powerful strategy and one that will be difficult to fight.  I only hope Athletic Directory Sandy Barbour has it in her.

3 Responses to “Tree-huggers pull out all the stops”

  1. Seth Says:

    I am speechless…

  2. Seth Says:

    Ken, I really appreciate you taking the time to debunk these malicious lies. Without dedicated bloggers such as yourself this plan would be left to the well funded lies. Surely the blogging community at large can turn back this tide of collusion between the mainstream media and the special land interests. Please continue your just and dedicated work. No one ever said defending the truth was easy…

  3. Ken's Brother Says:

    The sad thing is thanks to the millions of years of human existence, there really *isn’t* a place in the world that hasn’t at one point been a burial ground.
    The only solution then would be to move to the Antarctic. Hello University of California Antarctic!